The Houston Astros have certainly had their trials and tribulations in 2023. The number of injuries they have had to deal with on both sides of the ball would have probably completely torpedoed most teams' playoff chances. However, despite the odds, the Astros are currently in first place in the AL West and have managed to whittle down their magic number to 11.
So now it is time to start looking ahead a little bit to the playoff picture as it stands today. While there will inevitably be some shuffling around when it comes to seeding in the season's final weeks, the teams that will be in the playoffs this season on the American League side seem to be quite clear.
Here's who the Astros would play in the playoffs if the season ended today
As of today (9/19), the current 2023 MLB playoff bracket has the Astros as the second seed in the AL. The Astros are heavy favorites to win the division right now and the second seed is almost a mortal lock when it comes to the winner of the division. Baltimore has a double digit game lead for the top seed in the AL and the Twins are just happy that they play in a bad division.
That means that Houston would have a bye for the first round and would face the winner of the series between the Texas Rangers and Minnesota Twins. This is by far the best case scenario on the AL side of the playoff bracket. The Astros have dominated the Rangers this year and while the Twins are a little spooky because of their pitching staff led by Sonny Gray, that offense isn't scary and Minnesota has a well-documented history of struggling in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the other side of the bracket could be a bloodbath with the three AL East teams (Orioles, Rays, and Blue Jays) having to eat each other to make it to the ALCS. The Orioles should be the favorite there, but the Astros' side of the bracket definitely seems easier.
The postseason is approaching fast, folks, so sit back and hope that the Astros can stay exactly where they are right now. If that happens, another deep postseason run is very much in the cards.